Steaua Bucharest is going after their 25th league title, but has failed to remain undefeated this season.
FC Steaua Bucuresti is looking to grab the Romanian Liga 1 title this season, which will be a historic 25th for the country’s most renowned football squad. According to online sportsbooks in Romania Steaua are by far the favorites to take the crown this year with 1/33 odds, compared to a line of 12/1 for the next contender, Petrolul Ploiesti.
However, the team’s hopes to maintain an unbeaten record for the whole season were thrashed last Friday, when the boys from the capital lost to FC Vaslui 0-1 at home. Warning signs have started to appear early in April when Steaua drew 0-0 with ACS Poli Timisoara. Although their coach, Laurentiu Reghecampf, is confident the 25th title is theirs he wants a response to their latest poor performance.
Steaua is leading the table with 62 points with only seven games to go. Their closest competitors, FC Astra Giurgiu, have 56 points, while the 3rd-placed Petrolul Ploiesti stands at 52 points. Steaua’s loss last weekend ended their record 33-game undefeated domestic run. It was also the first game in two years that any other Romanian team has managed to keep their goal safe at Steaua’s home ground.
Steaua Bucharest is going after a record 25th league title
•Recent setback have altered their odds at online sportsbooks in Romania
•The team is still the top favorite to win the league this season
•Steaua failed to remain undefeated this season
The first unbeaten Romanian team was the FC Dinamo Bucuresti in the 1991/92 season. And now, although Steaua have a commanding lead atop of the national league’s table, the chance to repeat this record is gone.
Steaua has done it previously, moreover the record was repeated three years in a row from 1986/87 to 1988/89 season. The team has also set a European record having been undefeated in 104 straight games. This year only AC Sparta Praha in the Czech Republic can end the season without defeats.
Naturally, Steaua’s defeat has affected their odds at bookmakers under Romanian gambling laws. The line for the Bucharest team taking the title has gone longer, but not by a long stretch.
Comments from the head coach
Laurentiu Reghecampf, Steaua’s manager, was quoted in Romanian gambling news: “Even the big teams lose, but I have to admit that Vaslui played better than us and deserved the victory. In the last two years Steaua have achieved plenty of things which we can be proud of.”
He went on to add: “However, what happened on Friday was not OK. We did not have the same aggression and the same possession as usual, and these are things which we must not repeat. But I have a lot of reasons to be sure that on Thursday, in the second leg of the FA Cup semi-finals against Dinamo (Steaua having won the home game 5-2), we will be in very good shape.”
Steaua has made it through to the group stage of the Champions League this season after a tough qualification series. However, the Romanian team finished last in their group managing only 3 draws, and didn’t make it through to the Europa League.
FC Steaua has won the Champions League, back when it was called European Champions Clubs’ Cup in 1986, and next year picked up the UEFA Super Cup trophy as well. They have reached the competition’s final on one more occasion in 1988/89 season.
Since the tournament was renamed into the UEFA Champions League in 1992, the Romanian team has never made it out of the groups. As for the Europa League or UEFA Cup as it was known previously, Steaua has made it to the semi-finals on one occasion back in 2005/06 season.
What is next for Steaua
The next fixture, Steaua will play, is the second leg of the FA Cup semis against Dinamo on Thursday. They are the favorites in the game after beating Dinamo 5-2 in the first game at home. Online bookies give Steaua 11/10 odds to win the second fixture as well, while Dinamo receives 12/5 odds and the draw is valued at 2/1.
After the Cup semi-finals are over, Steaua will still have to play in the league, but only next Monday. They are facing FC Viitorul Constanta, second team from the bottom of the table, and naturally enjoy favorable odds of 1/20 from bookies, while their opponent gets a line of 1/4 and the tie pays at 3/10.